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Root Cellar Folklore

         Root cellars provided for more than just a place for storage of various items. Root cellars were also incorporated into the fun past-times of the children. In an interview with Ella Pearce, she stated that "boys and girls use to gather around the cellars and have all kinds of games." When the boys and girls would go out in the evenings, the boys would make use of the various cellars to scare the girls. As Emily Chaulk stated, "there were spirits in the root cellars. The young boys would jump out and scare the young girls!"

         Folklore was associated with the root cellars as well. A story that the researchers were told over and over again was that of parents informing their children that babies came from the root cellars. "Children from the Maberly-Neck section of Elliston were told that babies came from 'John Murphy's cellar'." It is possible that the story of babies coming from root cellars can be traced back to the United Kingdom. In Wales, parents would tell their children that Leprechauns lived in the cellars, and that these Leprechauns would sometimes kidnap a farmer's wife in order to help her deliver her baby.

         As you can see from the above, the root cellar played an important role in the life of the people of Elliston and surrounding areas. This role was not only in the preservation of vegetables and other food supplies, but also in the games that were played by the children, and the stories of folklore that were passed down through the generations.

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